“There is the need to define the national interest, which must of necessity receive cross party, political and civil society support and countrywide approval from which shall be developed a national agenda.
“It is my belief that Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) lead the process,” Professor Agyemang Badu Akosa CPP Shadow Cabinet Member on Health told the Ghana News Agency during the 14th series of “How CPP Will Do It: Focus on Agriculture,” in Accra.
He said the national interest must include health, education and public safety, which would embrace food security, internal and external security, personal safety and shelter.
Prof Akosa said “GIMPA as an institution must externalise itself beyond the public forum and launch a platform to define the national interest…”as a nation State, it does not appear as if the welfare of the citizenry matters very much to the leadership both political, and the civil and public service.
“Many are those who are there to feather their cap at the expense of the State and its people. In the national interest, a fair minimum must be provided to all to ensure that nobody lives below that minimum.
“It was not for nothing that the United Kingdom established the welfare state that even out of work, the barest minimum shall be made available.
“As a country with significant poverty levels and with the Ghana Poverty Reduction Strategy I and II not bridging the gap or yielding any great dividends, the issues must be tackled fairly and squarely and GIMPA with the mandate to educate Civil and Public Servants and its increasing role of training politicians must take the lead”.
Focusing on the achievements of the CPP Government under the leadership of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Prof Akosa said it set itself the task of creating a development fund.
“Since the only significant source of income in the country was cocoa, a huge surcharge was placed on it. Cocoa farmers were to be paid 40 per cent of the prevailing world price and the 60 per cent saved for development,” he said.
He noted that between 1951 and 1954; 80 million pounds sterling was saved and by 1957, almost 200 million pounds sterling had been realised to begin Ghana’s development…”it is this money that many Ghanaians have been made to believe was given to Ghana during independence by the colonial powers.”
Prof Akosa revealed that the opposition who stood against the establishment of the development fund argued that through “the taxation of Cocoa farmers the Nkrumah Government did not like Asantes”.
The CPP Shadow Cabinet Member on Health noted that the development fund gave independent Ghana the greatest opportunity ever. Three development plans were launched sequentially two of which were executed successfully. All aimed at creating a country capable of looking after its own.
“In the nine years from 6th March 1957 to the 24th February 1966, Ghana became an industrialised country. The trade fair site was established not to show case Chinese goods, as we seem to be doing these days but to show case goods produced in Ghana.
“What good is any of the trade fairs in Ghana today when the only made in Ghana showcased are alcoholic beverages and food. 53 state enterprises were established together with 100 industries distributed across the whole of the country,” he said.
Prof Akosa said monies accrued from the development fund were spent creating schools in every part of the country, secondary schools increased from about 15 to 100, Teacher Training Colleges from five to 47, Nursing Training schools from one to six and Technical and Vocational schools were also set up.
“Many hospitals including Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital were built. Prior to that the only hospitals were the European hospitals built for them and the few Europeanised Ghanaians.
“Takoradi Harbour was expanded. The Takoradi-Achiase-Accra railway line was built. Tema Township, the harbour and the motorway were all constructed together with many roads. In the words of Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, judge me not from the heights that I have reached but from the depths from which I have come.
“An energy policy that was far reaching had been put in place. Akosombo hydroelectric project inaugurated barely a month before the coup but its lifespan even for the six million Ghanaians then had been taken care of.
“The Russians were in Ghana to start construction of the Bui dam. They were all driven away after the coup and 40 years on after the ecology has changed; we are now getting the Chinese to build the dam at a whooping $600 million.
“Atomic Energy Commission had also been established and the whole issue of nuclear energy technology for peaceful purposes was under serious consideration.
“A Science Park had been commissioned, The Academy of Arts and Science and many research centres and institutions such as the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Water Resources, Food Research, Cocoa Research and Building and Road Research Institutes were all in place not to mention the Science faculties of the three Universities, Legon, KNUST and Cape Coast; to continue the thinking on solar energy and other renewable sources including biogas and bio diesel”, he stated.
Prof Akosa explained that years on, there had been no clear thinking and planning for the energy needs of Ghana….” for the Government that are quick to take credit for consequential achievements through no mental effort of theirs, it does surprise me how quick they are to pass the blame on others”.
Speaking on Agriculture and Food security, Dr Abu Sakara, Shadow Cabinet Member on Agriculture said the CPP viewed development of Ghana’s food and agriculture industry as the foundation for realisation of its vision of a society in which everyone enjoyed access to basic essential services of food, health, clothing, shelter, education and productive employment.
He said a CPP led government would take an agriculture sector policy based on a Strategic National Development Plan that would be based on agro-ecological zone coordination and management support with completely devolved district responsibility for management and implementation of relevant sectors.
“Allocate a target 15 per cent of national budget to agriculture to ensure at least an eight per cent growth rate of the agricultural sector to feed our industrial manufacturing sector.
“Districts would receive consolidated multi-sectoral budgets and would be accountable through elected District Chief Executives. Identify and Initiate State sponsored co-investments with private sector where there is proven effective demand,” Dr Sakara stated.